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Approaching the China market

Get an essential grounding in the business environment and market dynamics of China.

Throughout the Greater China course, students develop a basic understanding of the economic, social and political context in which China’s business environment is forged; learn about the diverse market opportunities in the country; and gain first-hand experience of how the China market really ticks during the in-country portion.

Course description

China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy over the next 10–15 years. The last time a reshuffling of the global pecking order took place was when the United States surpassed Great Britain as the world’s largest economy at the turn of the 20th century. Global power transitions have never been particularly smooth, and China’s rise will be no different.

Becoming a business leader in today’s world requires an understanding of the implications of this defining event of the 21st century.

Students will have an opportunity to lead and complete a team project that will have intellectual and practical value for approaching the China market. The course is organized into three broad segments: 1) Where the Chinese economy has been; 2) Where the Chinese economy and business environment are now; 3) How the Chinese market might transform over the next 5-10 years. The course will primarily focus on the present and near future, but revisiting pre-reform era China is necessary to understand how the country works today.

The overall course, including reading materials, lectures, and guest speakers, is designed for students who have minimal exposure to China and Asia-Pacific, the world’s most economically dynamic, populous, and diverse region. However, for individual students who might wish to delve deeper into a particular area or topic, see the professor about supplemental materials and resources.


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Faculty and advisor bios

Faculty bio

Damien Ma is fellow and associate director of the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where he co-founded MacroPolo, a leading digital platform on China’s political economy, investment and geoeconomics. He is co-author of "In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent in the Next Decade" and editor of "The Economics of Air Pollution in China" (by Ma Jun). He currently also serves as adjunct faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Previously, Ma was a China and Mongolia senior analyst at Eurasia Group, the political risk research and advisory firm. He specialized in analyzing the intersection between Chinese policies and markets, with a particular focus on energy and commodities, industrial policy, elite politics, U.S.-China relations, and social policies. His advisory and analytical work served a range of clients from institutional investors and multinational corporations to the U.S. government. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he was a manager of publications at the U.S.-China Business Council in Washington, D.C. He also worked at the public relations firm H-Line Ogilvy in Beijing, where he served major multinational clients.

In addition, Ma has published widely, including in the Atlantic online, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the New Republic, Foreign Policy and Bloomberg, among others. He has also appeared in a range of broadcast media such as the Charlie Rose Show, BBC, NPR and CNBC. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, D.C.

Ma is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named a “99under33” foreign policy leader in 2012 by the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.

Advisor bio

Sheila Duran is the senior director for Kellogg’s Public-Private Interface Initiative. Prior to that, she headed Kellogg Case Publishing since its inception in 2003. Before that, she was marketing director for Executive Education at the James Allen Center. In that capacity, she oversaw Kellogg’s international education tradeshow presence in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Spain. This is her 12th year advising GIM classes, leading classes studying China, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Mongolia, Morocco, Qatar, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam.

Sheila holds a B.A. in humanities from Brigham Young University and an M.A. in humanities (architecture history) from the University of Chicago. She is married, and her husband, Rick, heads an international real estate development firm. They have four children. She has traveled to more than 40 countries but does not come near the record in the family.